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Press Release 96-013
NSF Names Cooperative Research Centers for Arizona, Illinois and Ohio

April 1, 1996

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected universities in Arizona, Illinois and Ohio to receive more than $1 million each in federal funds--to be matched by the public and private sector--to establish three new State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers.

The initiative, created in 1990, is a "peer-reviewed investment of federal resources, one in a series designed to promote partnerships among academe, industry and state government," says Joseph Bordogna, NSF assistant director for Engineering. The partnerships are intended to create knowledge in critically-needed technologies for rapid transfer to the marketplace. The intended result is an "enhanced industrial capacity, a competitive technological infrastructure, development of wealth-producing enterprises, and an employed workforce," says Bordogna.

The cooperative agreement with each of the new centers requires the state and industrial partners to match or exceed NSF's contribution. Industry representatives will serve on an advisory board for each cooperative research center. The centers are expected to involve firms of all sizes, with an emphasis on small businesses.

The new NSF research centers are:

  • A new Center for Low Power Electronics on the campus of the University of Arizona, under the direction of Sarma B. K. Vrudhula, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and in partnership with Arizona State University, will conduct research in low-voltage, low-power microelectronics, a field essential to advances in technology for the next generation of laptop computers, cellular phones, mobile fax machines and other portable computing and communication systems. NSF will contribute $1.125 million toward the new center's total proposed budget of $3.7 million over its initial four years.

  • A new Center for Advanced Friction Studies on the campus of Southern Illinois University, under the direction of Maurice A. Wright, professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes, will conduct research on improved materials needed to manufacture high-friction components in the automotive and aircraft industries, such as more durable brake linings, pads, drums and rotors. The new NSF cooperative research center expands the role of the university's Materials Technology Center. NSF will contribute $1.05 million toward the new center's total proposed budget of $5.5 million over its initial four years.

  • A new Center for Industrial Sensors and Measurements on the campus of Ohio State University, under the direction of Sheikh Akbar, associate professor of materials science and engineering, will develop novel technology for highly sensitive and durable sensors to measure industrial processes and products. Sensors are needed to monitor gas emissions and temperatures in automotive engines, in turbine engines for the energy industry, and during the manufacture or casting of steel, other metals, glass, paper and pulp. NSF will contribute $1.2 million toward the new center's total proposed budget of $4.87 million over its initial four years.

Funding for the new centers begins April 1. A total of 24 universities applied for the FY96 round of awards. The new centers announced today bring to 13 the total number of NSF sponsored State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
George E. Chartier, NSF, (703) 292-8070, gchartie@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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